ARC Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was a magical read, with words that flowed in a lyrical almost whimsical kind of way.  The synopsis grabs your attention and makes you wonder, what would you give up to live forever?

Review

Addie was stubborn as hell and I loved it. A muse full of wonder and adventure even after years spent exploring Europe. We catch up to her almost 300 years into her life and this girl has not changed one bit from who she was in 1714. No character development happened, and I swear it was from sheer stubbornness. That and I don’t think she needed to change. She was the spontaneous friend who is warm from the start and draws you. Who looks like she knows some great secrets and you want to know them too. All Addie wanted from her life was to find love and explore the world beyond her tiny town, which she ironically never strays far from, except I always felt like while she loved exploring she always seemed to want that love more. Someone to share her explorations with.

The curse itself was so intricately designed. Schwab does a great job of outlining it, showing how it works and Addie discovering how herself through a series of flashbacks to the beginning of it. Addie cannot make an actual mark on the world, but she can plant ideas which was so fascinating and tricky. While the lives she touches cannot exactly remember her, they remember the idea of her.

Pacing wise, it was a slow read. It’s meant to be a slow read though, we’ve got 300+ years to explore with Addie. We don’t even reach the situation in the synopsis until almost 50% through the book. It’s all story and world-building. My only complaint is I felt like I was rushing towards that someone remembering her and didn’t fully appreciate the flashbacks until after that plot point occurred. The writing was just beautiful though, full of similes and metaphors. Descriptions so well written you can picture a moment perfectly in your mind down to the last detail.

Can you really be in love with someone if they’re your only option, or at that point is it just complacency? Can someone fall in love with you if they only know you for a day?

Love was what I thought to be at the core of this book. Addie for all her talk of independence and not wanting to belong to someone truly just wants to be loved for being herself. To be forgotten time and time again by those she feels she could have a connection with when they leave the room or fall asleep. I loved her dance with the darkness, the devil who holds her hostage under the curse. He was such an intriguing character and I loved their moments, years, together. While at the beginning of the book I wanted to skip the flashbacks, at the end I want to skip to them. Then we have Henry who remembers her, but is it enough to just remember? Henry was kind, sweet and so utterly lost in a world moving forward and leaving him behind. I understood him but just because he can remember Addie does that make it love or just convenience.

This is not going to be the book for everyone. From writing style to pacing and the non-ending ending I can see quite a few people being upset or disliking it. If you are not a fan of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which is the closest writing style I can come up with, maybe try a sample before straight buying it. For those who love a poetic picture being painted and don’t mind a slow pace, grab it immediately.

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